coondoggie writes "The aspiration that jets may someday fly at over six times the speed of sound took a very real step toward reality recently, as the US Air Force said it successfully married the test aircraft, known as the X-51A WaveRider, to a B-52 in preparation for a Dec. 2 flight test. The X-51A flight tests are intended to demonstrate that the engines can achieve their desired speed without disintegrating. While the X-51 looks like a large rocket now, its applications could change the way aircraft or spaceships are designed, fly into space, support reconnaissance missions and handle long-distance flight operations. At the heart of the test is the aircraft's air-breathing hypersonic scramjet system."
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